I started working on Maggie's quilt and birthday banner last night. I can't believe her first birthday is five weeks away. I wasn't sad about Claire turning one. I was mainly just glad to be a year away from her terrifying arrival. And I was already pregnant with Maggie, so I knew we'd be welcoming another baby soon. Maggie's upcoming birthday definitely feels more bittersweet, but I'm still very much looking forward to the girls' bond developing more as she grows.
Mostly, I keep thinking about how most people would be "done" with babies at the two kid mark and I just can't imagine feeling like that. I know it's possible that it could be the case for us, but I certainly pray that it's not! It all went by so, so fast. Three years and three months after the first positive pregnancy test, we'd be out of the baby stage once and for all.
Although, I suppose most people who want to stop at two would plan for a larger age difference. The more typical three years so you can get the older one potty-trained, out of the crib, in preschool, etc.
Adam and I feel like we've heard a lot lately about how expensive kids are. Honestly, that's never really crossed our minds! As a software developer, my husband is in a fairly lucrative field, so we've definitely got that going for us. We've been very fortunate recipients of some extremely generous baby gifts. And we haven't gotten to the stage where kids do get more expensive with extracurricular activities and such.
But, really, I think it's the following two reasons why our eyes don't turn into giant dollar signs when we daydream about adding more to our flock:
1. We had children at the very beginning of Adam's career. Our first year of marriage, we lived on the income of two college students. Our second year, we lived on the income of one college student and one part-time nanny, part-time test prep instructor. Then, Claire arrived, Adam graduated, we moved to Seattle for his new job in the tech industry, and our income more than tripled. Clearly, it wasn't a big deal financially for me to transition to staying at home with her. Since the first baby and first job coincided so handily, Adam's salary should (God-willing!) grow as our family grows.
2. We've just accepted that we'll have to do things differently. Which we're certainly not strangers to at this point! We hope to help them out somehow, but we know we won't be able to pay all of their college expenses. We know we won't be able to go out to eat as often as we do now. (About once a week. Hopefully I'll get better at preparing dinner every night when we have some older kids to help keep the little ones out of the kitchen!) We know we won't be able to go on the same kind of vacations we do now. (Although, our expensive trips are to visit great-grandparents, so, as sad as it is to say it, we won't be making those trips forever.) We know we won't be taking the whole family to the movies very often or throwing extravagant birthday parties. I mean, with these crazy Seattle housing prices, we might not be home owners until Claire is a middle schooler! That's just the way it's going to be. We've made peace and we've moved on.
However, we're not too optimistic about the success of a second VBAC (we'll give it our best shot, but we certainly don't have the best track record) so we might have to cap our family size at four kids. When we're feeling particularly pessimistic about that, we do remind ourselves all the reasons why four kids could be awesome, and there are definitely some financial perks.
We wouldn't need a big house! We'd fit comfortably in a minivan! We'd fit perfectly in two rows on an airplane and flights would be more affordable!
So, I get it. I totally do. But, if we could (and we fervently hope we can) we'd trade all those perks in for more babies. More love.